Delaney McDowell closed out her collegiate career during Thursday's NCAA women's 4 x 400 relay semifinals. (Photo by Pat Holleran)
Liberty's women's 4 x 400 relay quartet of Tanner Ealum, Ty'Asia Dansbury, Delaney McDowell and Cortney Dowling made program history at the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, late Thursday night at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Liberty's first relay team ever to compete at this meet initially placed sixth in its semifinal heat in 3:37.15. However, the Lady Flames were later disqualified after a video review revealed a lane violation.
The relay team's incredible season comes to an end after the Lady Flames broke the 4 x 400 program record twice on the year. Liberty clocked 3:35.77 in the ASUN final before improving to 3:33.20 at the NCAA Preliminary Round meet, where the Lady Flames punched their tickets to Austin. They became the ASUN Conference's first-ever women's 4 x 400 relay team ever to qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Thursday's race also closed out McDowell's collegiate career. The lone senior on the 4 x 400 relay squad, McDowell was a five-time conference 800-meter champion for the Lady Flames, including four Big South titles and one ASUN crown.
Men's Team Scores (Through 7 of 21 Events) 1) Mississippi State – 24 2) Georgia – 22 3) BYU – 21 4) LSU – 18 5) Kansas – 11 36T) Liberty – 1
Up Next Liberty will take part in two events on Friday, the final day of men's competition in Austin. Alejandro Perlaza Zapata will race in the men's 400 final at 9:32 p.m. Eastern, while Azaria Kirwa is entered in the men's 5K final at 10:25 p.m. Eastern. Both races will air live on ESPN.
The Flames enter Friday's competition with one team point, putting Liberty in a tie for 36th place with Akron, Washington and Wisconsin with 14 events remaining.
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